‘Euphoria’ is HBO’s most popular show for 18 years, along with ‘Game of Thrones’

While it seemed clear that Euphoria had picked up steam after Season 1 in the just-concluded Season 2, the levels it has reached are unlike anything HBO has seen in nearly twenty years. , with one obvious exception.

Euphoria is officially HBO’s most-watched series of the past 18 years, with the exception, of course, of Game of Thrones, the epic fantasy production that ended in 2019 and spawned at least one spin-off.

This Sunday (via Variety), the Season 2 finale reached a series-high 6.6 million viewers, and across all platforms, HBO says Season 2 episodes averaged 16.3 million viewers, including post-air viewing, and that the Season 2 premiere alone has 19 million viewers in the United States. . It’s been the No. 1 show on HBO Max for seven straight weeks, and it all adds up to a doubling in ratings since season 1, at least.

That’s still behind the Game of Thrones numbers, where the series finale had 13.61 million live viewers, but obviously Thrones is at a level HBO hasn’t seen before, and those Euphoria numbers are to follow with about how many people were watching Thrones in Season 5, back when it was still good. Other recent HBO shows, while highly publicized and well-reviewed like Mare of Eastown or The White Lotus, don’t even come close. The White Lotus never even reached a million live viewers by the end of it. Mare of Easttown was 1.5 million for its final. The euphoria is several times higher than anything else recent.

I’m certainly curious to see how House of the Dragon will perform for HBO. It’s a throwback to the world of Game of Thrones, but a thousand years in the past without any returning characters, and everyone still has a sour taste in their mouths from the final season of Thrones. I guess if it’s any good at all it will build an audience and probably surpass Euphoria, though I doubt it will reach the heights of the original.

Euphoria is obviously returning for Season 3, but it’s unclear exactly when that might happen. We had a long, long hiatus between seasons 1 and 2, so long that the show made interim episodes of Rue and Jules that have fans stirring until the return. Maybe absent the pandemic delay, it will be faster this time around, but I don’t imagine it will be a literal year like you’d expect from other series. More on Season 3 to come as new information emerges.

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Javier E. Swan